Friday, October 2, 2009

S on my chest

I came across the following post recently and was immediately drawn in by the plight of the writer that seemed to be plucked out of my own personal book of grievances. I have these lofty aspirations of being Every Woman, but I get tired y'all. Tired of trying to be everything to everyone and everything to myself and on top of that keep my house clean and my toes done. I have my outlets, but I'm forced to protect them like a guard dog and that in itself often drains me.
Am I wrong for turning my ringer off when I need peace and quiet?

Should I feel guilty that my sanity requires that I write everyday and sometimes I have to shut the world out to do so?
Well, maybe not.
But I wish people wouldn't take these things personally.
And I wish that I didn't care so much when they do.

This was how I was feeling when I came across this post from The View From Here ( This blog is a great find. There's no bells and whistles and no pretenses. Just candid thoughts and opinions, honest observations and amusing anecdotes delivered with intelligence in a girly context. So me.

The following excerpt is from the archives of The View From Here. The post is called I'm Not Your Superwoman and you can check out the article in its entirety when you visit the site.

So what exactly do y’all think would happen if I gave up my Strong Black Woman card for a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, shit a few years even? Would I ever get it back or would it be permanently revoked? I understand that as Black women we are supposed to be all things to everybody cause that’s how our mamas did it, our grandmamas did it, they mamas mamas did it…that’s how us Black women have survived through slavery, brutal rapes, family separation, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, segregation, discrimination, racism, strife, disease, poverty, and just regular day-to-day living. But I gotta admit something, I’m tired. I need a break. And I don’t even have kids or a husband, so I can only imagine the extra stress those things bring.

I do have what seems to be that innate gene in Black women that makes us feel that we have to carry the world on our backs, like Atlas. But what if we shrugged? What if we took time for ourselves and did what made us happy for once? Forget what our friends, our family, our church, our co-workers, our men (or the man we tryna get) say we need to do, should be doing, haven’t done, please volunteer for this, please cook something and bring it to the potluck, teach Sunday School, chair this committee, read this essay for your cousin applying to college, help mama with this, the dishes need doing, your husband or man needs loving, the kids noses need wiping…what if we just said fuck it all and lived for us?
As I get older, I find myself taking on a lot of responsibilities. And sometimes it becomes overwhelming: working, side hustling, volunteering, trying to fulfill my personal dreams and have a social life. And I wonder, who can I turn to if I’m always the one who is called on? When do I get to crack? Sometimes I fear that maybe I say “yes” to too many things, so that I don’t have to time to be sad. And that’s not the way to go either. Balance is necessary. Listening to my body and accepting my emotions are necessary. I am reminded of lyrics from Jill Scott’s song, I Keep : I keep smiling when I come through, and I cry when I need to…So, I am learning to find joy in all aspects of my life. I am learning to stop worrying about what I don’t have yet and just keep moving towards my goals. I’m learning to take care of myself first because it’s the most that I can do. I am beginning to accept that I can’t do it all. And I’m not even going to try. So let me get that Strong Black Woman guest pass.
Written by: Rum Punch

A note from The View From Here:
WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not).
WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived.
WE THINK: you'll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.
**Special thanks to Rum Punch for allowing me to resurrect this post from 2007 to share it with PLPT readers. I know they will dig it.


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